Not to be confused with the band, though they do take a close second.
I've jumped back on the Linux wagon and have officially switched to Ubuntu 100% of the time at home. This wasn't difficult, but it has made me follow the Linux/Ubuntu world a lot closer. Of course, the usual jibber jabber that comes out of any open source project was overlooked as usual, until I found out Ubuntu is switching to a new audio server PulseAudio. I play a lot of music on my system; in fact it's the only think I use to listen to music at home, so I was interested.
As I started perusing the docs I found out that PulseAudio is a pretty cool system. It sits between your applications and whatever the current sound system you are using and just takes the audio and passes it on. However, it is even better, it's networked. Why is this so cool you may be asking? Because now you can setup a multi-room music box and all you need to play the same music in all rooms is a networked computer hooked up to a set of speakers.
So I started thinking, I currently use Amarok as my music player of choice for the desktop. I used to be a big MPD fan, but the lack of good music library support made me switch, but I loved the ability to customize my interface, and be able to control my music from any computer with a network connection.
So I started looking into mpd again, but it had the same issues as before. Then I stumbled upon this gem mpdemu. This little script is a wonderful idea. It takes the MPD calls and translates them into Amarok calls. This will allow you to control Amarok with any MPD client.
So my wheels are spinning, I am thinking along these lines. A central server in your entertainment room with a nice display running Amarok. This serve would serve as a PulseAudio server. Then if you wanted to add music to any other machine all you need to do is install Ubuntu, setup PulseAudio as a client and suddenly whatever you play in your entertainment room is being played every where else. On top of that, if you happen to be elsewhere in your house and have a laptop with you, just log into your web based MPD client and pass whatever commands you wish and change songs, update your play list, and do all kinds of magic.
Okay, obviously, some kinks need to be worked out, but the idea is cool. The best system would be to have Amarok control MPD, but with a little hacking I think a really cool muti room setup may be possible. So wish me luck, I actually have a technology project I’m excited about and I plan on sharing my success with everyone else.